How Not to Tip the Scale Over the Holidays

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The summer months have come and gone and you’re no longer having to suck in your gut poolside, so the calorie counting and the early morning treks on the walking path have been tossed out the window.  You manage to still eat pretty healthy, but the holidays are just around the bend and you’re worried that all the weight you took off when the sun was blazing hot, will be put right back on as the snow piles up. 
If this sounds anything like you, I can totally relate.  Over the last seven months I’ve lost 30 pounds.  It’s 30 pounds that I found over the last five years that I couldn’t find a way to shed through diet and calorie counting alone.  It wasn’t until a friend of mine encouraged me to try Zumba, that I actually began to see results. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I hate to exercise!  I hate to sweat even more than that, but I went with her suggestion of trying it out for a month and I absolutely fell in love!  The music, the dance moves, and the people that keep me in check are really what makes it worthwhile.  And seeing the numbers on the scale go down isn’t so bad either!

After posting the above picture on Facebook, I received over 80 likes in two days time and quite a few comments as well.  In those comments were congratulatory messages and also questions of how I managed it.  

Well I’m here to say that there’s no magic trick or formula that will work for everyone, but 

Tip No. 1 – Drink Water

Drink water – lots of it! You’ve heard it time and time again that you should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Do you know why you’ve heard it so often?  One – because it’s important, and two – because it really does help you to keep the weight off. 

So go out, buy yourself a water bottle (My favorite is Nalgene’s Tritan OTG BPA-Free 24 oz. bottle – this sucker is nearly indestructible and I love the convenience of the flip-top lid!).  Next fill that baby up with water and drink!  I promise you, you’ll feel better, even after a few days of this. You can even challenge yourself to see how many times you can fill up during the day.  Make a chart that you can check off after each glass as a visual reminder.

With the amount of salty foods that you’re sure to be consuming during this holiday season, your intake of water is very important in order to flush all of that extra sodium from your system.  Also with cold weather, comes dry air and the need of moisturizer.  By drinking more water your skin will be able to stay hydrated longer – from the inside out!  

Tip No. 2 – Get plenty of rest

Take this from someone who knows, caffeine is not a substitute for sleep.  This was a common saying when I worked at church camp and the counselors were running around on empty.  I know it’s a quick fix, but caffeine forces your already tired body to work harder, which will only lead to further exhaustion when it wears off.  Plus it’s a chemical that you’re putting into your body that can cause further dehydrate and cause cravings or lead to a dependence.  

Getting a decent night’s rest or even taking a 20 minute nap (set your alarm) during the day will help to keep some pep in your step.  Sleep helps to rejuvenate your body and repair any damage that took place during the waking hours.  So jump into your PJs, grab a comfy blanket and get to snoozing!

Tip No. 3 – Take time to just be 

Prayer, meditation, yoga, a walk or a long soak in the bathtub…whatever it takes to allow you to find some peace within, do it!  Life is chaotic and our schedules have us running around like mad, but I promise that taking at the minimum 10 minutes to yourself, to just be will benefit you and your health in so many ways.  

First off, if praying is what you intend to do during your “me time”, then without trying, you’re going to strengthen your faith and develop a much richer and deeper relationship with God or whatever higher power you believe in. 

Meditation will help to relax your entire body and allow you to take on more strenuous activities with greater success.  Yoga will also do the same, as well as tone your inner core, strengthening to your stability and tone your overall physique.

And a long soak in the bathtub (uninterrupted by kids, cell phones, etc.) will just allow your tension-filled shoulders to relax, your back aches to subside and your mind to wander.  

If you find yourself delegating tasks to yourself when you are suppose to be relaxing, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can worry about those details later on.  If you simply cannot focus your attention away from your to-do list, then go tackle it, and find some other time during your day to just be.

Tip No. 4 – Exercise 

No. more. excuses!  I made excuses for the first 29 years of my life.  I’m too busy.  I’m too tired.  My back hurts.  My asthma is acting up.  Whatever lame-o reason I could find.  

Well after spending all of that time not enjoying my current status in weight, bouncing back and forth between size 16 and 18 pants and feeling rather blah all of the time, I decided to take my friend’s advice and try out Zumba.  I had it on the Wii and that was fun, so I thought, what the heck and tried out a class.  

And wouldn’t you know it, I have MADE time in my schedule for the 3 sessions a week.  Exercising actually gives me more energy (gasp!), really, it does!  My back doesn’t hurt any more because I have developed stronger muscles with all of the dancing I’ve been doing.  My exercise-induced asthma is all but gone!  

So quit it with the whiny excuses, and as Nike would say, JUST DO IT!

Tip No. 5 – Find an accountability partner

Find a friend that will hold you accountable and that you can hold accountable.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Zumba girls.  We have a Facebook group to announce when classes are going on/canceled and also use it as a place to encourage one another.  If I decide to stay in bed instead of going to the 8:15 am (yes, that’s the morning) session, you better bet that I’ll have a message in the group from one of them saying, “Where were you?  We missed you!”  

It’s that kind of camaraderie that keeps me motivated and helps me to keep with it.  I’ve also made some really great friends with women that otherwise I don’t think I would have ever met or spoken to.  Having the support, the encouragement and alright, love, from these ladies means the world to me.  And I do my best to provide the same to them.

Don’t know of anyone to hold you accountable?  E-mail me!

So what do you think?  Can you do these five things this holiday season?  Start that New Year’s resolution early and challenge yourself to NOT tip the scale this Christmas!  I have faith in you – you can do it!

Find other great health/exercise tips on my Pin boards! 
Health & Wellness: http://ow.ly/qJUqd 
Workouts: http://ow.ly/qJUuc

Note: Some of the links above are my affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way!
What are your favorite tips for staying fit during the holidays?  Comment below.

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